Regis W. Haid, Jr., MD, Spine Surgeon
A posterior cervical foraminotomy is a minimally-invasive procedure intended to enlarge the space where the nerve root exits from the spinal cord. The space is called the neural foramen. A key part of the surgery is to remove any piece of disc which is pushing on the nerve.
Sometimes the foraminotomy alone can alleviate symptoms without a discectomy being required. The whole disc is not removed, just the fragment pressing the nerve root. In a simple foraminotomy, fusion is not performed and most patients typically do not require a neck collar after the surgery.
Cervical disc protrusions are usually not operated on early, but there are some situations where Dr. Haid may recommend early surgery. For example, if there is evidence of severe weakness, early surgery may be offered, or alternatively if arm pain is so severe that narcotic analgesia is not controlling the pain, early surgery may be an option.
Dr. Haid is the co-developer of the first artificial cervical disc approved for use in the United States. He is also the developer of TWO methods of cervical fusion which are widely used throughout the world. He is uniquely qualified to guide patients through cervical spine problems.